Last night, while the kids were in the bath, my husband was being a goofball and popping out from behind a door making funny faces, causing them to shriek with adorable, bubbling laughter. I was sitting in our bedroom, folding the washing and enjoying the spectacle. He came into the bedroom and while we were chatting he commented that he thinks a lot about the legacy he will leave as a father.
My immediate thought was ‘that is really good!’ Of course I want the father of my children being aware of the impact he is leaving on our kids.
This thought was quickly followed by another….
“I don’t think about the legacy I’m leaving on our kids a whole lot”
Whoops. I mean, I should be, right?
I did when I was pregnant, I even wrote down the sort of mother I wanted to be. My notes were filled with good intentions, to create a happy home filled with love, security and acceptance of my children and whatever they wanted to be. I also (now I realise, stupidly) wrote down little details about how my children would behave, like I had a choice or could hope to mould them so clearly.
But time for those dreams is a thing of the past. Time to wistfully imagine my perfectly endless compassion and patience as a mother does not factor into my day to day, real life actual mothering. Now, don’t get me wrong its not that I don’t still want all that, but do I actually achieve that daily? I’m not sure. It’s hard to think about it or assess it between getting everyone dressed and fed, doing hair, and packing the dishwasher for the 3rd time that day. So, what will be my legacy?
As I was sitting there, methodically sorting and folding the washing with a careful eye on my girls playing in the bath, I took a breath (shout out to my meditation teacher Cath Guilesspie for that little lifesaving tip!). And that helped me to step off the perfectionist panic train in my brain. I realised what my legacy will be.
It will be being there.
And now stop, I don’t mean that in any amazing, betty home-maker, always mindfully present kind of way. Cos that’s not me, at all. But I definitely always go and check on them after the 5th time they call out, or when the crying really escalates to the point that I’m worried the neighbours might complain, or if there’s blood. I’m always prompt if there’s blood.
No seriously, I really mean, just being human and doing it in front of them. Like making mistakes, like crying, like dancing a little crazy to ‘shake it off’ or belting out Adele’s “Hello” while they watch in a mystified horror. Like having an argument with my husband and then finding a resolution, showing them it’s ok to have a strong opinion and stand up for it, and also the importance of understanding and compromising. They are watching me devote time to building my business, learning the importance of hard work and doing something you believe in. They see my husband and I commit to sports and sometimes that means, time away from home but I hope they are learning the value of staying active and getting involved.
Legacy will be what it will be, it is not generated in a day, or a week. It is the sum of all your actions. And no amount of diary writing or wishful thinking will probably impact it. It’s nice to think about it occasionally and do a little assessment of how I’m tracking, but at the end of the day, being there and being human, the good and the bad, will demonstrate the greatest strength and is the best legacy I can leave behind. Phew! xx
So, I do Crossfit. And I’m a pelvic floor physiotherapist. If you haven’t heard….these two things combined are a little controversial. When Crossfit made and released the below video, I am sure they did not anticipate the barrage of criticism that was unleashed by hundreds of enraged continence physio’s worldwide. We can be a passionate bunch….we normally only need a little poke to get started, but this was like waving a red flag at a bull. So much material to tear apart! And they couldn’t have made it easier…….Geez, they started by calling the medical condition by the wrong name! So, enough talking - if you haven’t seen it, here it is:
Crazy? Yes. Appalling? Indeed. Now, as I referred to before, there has been a barrage of well articulated articles written by pelvic floor health professionals about everything that is wrong with this clip. Here are two of the best which I encourage you to read:
But, despite all this….I still do Crossfit. And here’s why:
So, what about the pelvic floor?
Well, Stress Urinary Incontinence (which is the internationally accepted correct terminology) occurs when the intra-abdominal pressure above the bladder exceeds the closure pressure generated by the pelvic floor muscles and soft tissue structures below the bladder. This pressure can come from weight, from impact caused by the ground reaction force, and by bracing the abdominals. The thing is, yes these things can occur during Crossfit, but they also occur during Netball, Tennis, Soccer, Football, Dancing, Running, Jumping on the trampoline and any other activity that involves pushing your body.
Should we accept it if we leak during ANY of these activities? No. And that’s where The Crossfit clip went so terribly wrong. Don’t accept it, treat your incontinence as you would treat any injury in your body - don’t push through it, get it assessed, scale back until you can do the movement with correct technique and no dysfunction, which in the case of the pelvic floor muscles, means no urinary leaking or feelings of heaviness.
If you are thinking about starting Crossfit, research your choices. Choose a box that has experienced coaches, has an induction training program, that limits class sizes so technique can be monitored, and that doesn’t pressure you to add weight or intensity unless you are ready. If you are concerned about your pelvic floor function or don’t know how to control your pelvic floor muscles, make an appointment with a pelvic floor and continence physio who can answer all your questions or visit my website at womankindphysiotherapy.com.
Enjoy your WOD!
I read the other day on Facebook about a distant relative’s relationship break up. It was a shock because she had posted a beautiful photo of her and her ex-boyfriend hugging, and the first few lines were a summary of how they met. She was lulling me into a false sense of security with what I thought was going to be a love story ending in an engagement announcement, but then she dropped me like a sack of potatoes at the news that they were not going to live happily ever after and were in fact ‘going seperate ways’.
Now, let me explain, I have actually only met this distant relative twice, I have never met her seemingly lovely boyfriend. But this distant relative-of-mine is quite into social media and regularly posts lovely photo’s and updates on what they get up to. So I feel connected to them. I know they have a long distance relationship, when they are apart they post about how much they yearn for one another, and when they reunite there is a post about how happy they are to be together again. They do romantic things together - I know all this, because she tells me and shows me, and the other 350 friends she has, on Facebook.
So anyway - in this very surprising break up post, she mentioned there had been many tears?!! And that they had reached a mutual decision that they were not right for each other!!! What the?! All news to me. I felt betrayed. I had been lied to.
Now, forgive me for being totally normal, and somewhat affected by my world and what I see and hear around me. But sometimes, when I’ve been feeling especially tired, grumpy, and lets face it - emotional for a reason that’s to do with a plummet in my progesterone levels and happens cyclically… I have been jealous of this distant relative-of-mine’s lovely, romantic relationship. I have compared my life and thought; if there are people out there like this distant relative-of-mine who are so happy and in love all the time, then maybe there's something wrong with me and my life.
But they are breaking up!
This is the one bad news snippet that people can’t hide. A break up. It eventually comes out. Now, I think it’s normal to compare yourself to your environment. In fact, if you are reading this on your high horse thinking “I never compare and judge myself against people around me” then I’d go as far as saying GET OFF! Only if you lived in the deep jungle with no access to other humans would you genuinely not be influenced by other people. And even then, you’d probably start comparing your ability to forage food to the apes that lived with you. My point is, everyone judges, everyone compares, so the point of not comparing is moot and lets stop quibbling over it.
But I digress, I guess my point is, how much more were they hiding? And I know they weren’t actually hiding anything from me. They were simply only showing me the best bits. And on receiving this news, which I’m not going to lie, took me a few minutes to get my head around despite having never been in their physical company. I began to go back and re-think all those times I had categorised my life metaphorically lower than hers and I upgraded it. So I was left with a mix of feelings; shock, betrayal, sadness for her, and then…slightly more satisfied with my lot in life.
So now, I’m at the end of my spiel and I feel the pressure to end with some wise words about social media, judgement, comparison and self worth. But I haven’t figured it out yet…we can’t stop looking at everything online, or stop the freight train that is social media. So I’m not going to offer advice or even an opinion. But I do like the idea of re-naming Facebook in my own head as “The Best Bits”. I think that will help me in the future and I’m happy for you to do it too :)
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